By: Phillip Torres
SANTA CLARA- The San Francisco 49ers (5-4) will be hosted by the New York Giants (3-6) on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. The 49ers are coming off a huge 27-24 victory over the New Orleans Saints last week. The Giants are coming off of a big 38-17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, a game in which the led for a while, but Seattle came roaring back to win it by a wide margin. The 49ers victory put them a game over .500 and perhaps saved their season.
San Francisco was on the verge of going 4-5 with a loss to the Saints. Statistics show that teams that start the season 4-5 only make the playoffs 13% of the time. While 5-4 teams have an extremely higher percentage of getting into the tournament. The win helps the 49ers keep pace in the tough NFC West Division with the Arizona Cardinals and the Seahawks. Both teams won on Sunday, and Arizona improved its NFL best record to 8-1.
The Red and Gold received both good and bad news this week that will impact their game plan for the rest of the season. The bad news is that All Pro linebacker Patrick was put on the season ending injured reserve list because of his toe. Willis is set to have surgery on the toe sometime next week. The good news is that San Francisco will be getting one of their All Pro linebackers back. Aldon Smith was officially reinstated by the NFL on Tuesday after a nine game suspension for substance abuse.
Some other notable game notes for this upcoming Sunday is that cornerback Tramaine Brock will miss yet another game this season. He has offically been ruled out for the Giants game. Brock has been in limited action this season because of multiple injuries. The 49ers leader in interceptions a year ago was named the number one corner coming into the season, that role has since been claimed by the man who took over for Brock after his week one injury in Dallas, Perrish Cox. Cox leads the team with four interceptions thus far this season.
Rookie linebacker Chris Borland will remain the starting middle linebacker in place of Willis for the rest of the season. Borland has made a huge impact in his first two career starts recording 35 tackles between the two contests. He’s the first 49ers rookie linebacker to record back to back 10 tackle games since Patrick Willis back in 2007. Borland provides the San Francisco defense with a spark and his hustle will only rub off in a positive way for Vic Fangio and his defense.
Every game right now feels like a must win game for Jim Harbaugh and his 49ers. Being in the division that they are in, they cannot afford to lose any games that they are supposed to win. With San Francisco facing the Giants on Sunday, the Cardinals (8-1) will host the Detroit Lions (7-2) and the Seahawks (6-3) will be hosted by the Kansas City Chiefs (6-3).
Kickoff from MetLife Stadium will be at 10:00 A.M Pacific Standard Time.